Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Elie Saab Le Parfum: fragrance review

Is it rather predictable that when consulted I invariably recommend that a bride smells Le Parfum by Elie Saab when considering fragrances for her wedding day, since beautiful wedding gowns have been designed by Lebanese designer Elie Saab throughout the years? We have also come to associate white florals with weddings, if only because the traditional orange blossoms to adorn the bride's hair are a tried & tested tradition; plus they look and smell magnificent.

brownie points for the observant |pic via

Elie Saab Le Parfum is a glorious orange blossom and jasmine composition (it contains both the south of France grandiflora and the denser Indian sambac variety), which embraces its wearer into a vision of beauty and splendour. It's regal, yet not too mature. It's sweet, thanks to the honeyed nectarous quality of the floral essences, but not vulgar sweet. It's ladylike, sure, but it hints at a velvety sensuality of silky limbs and thick hair brushing the shoulders.

Most importantly its brightness is conductive to the optimism that a wedding, surely the start of what is more essential, a common path in life, a marriage, heralds. And this is what is priceless. The only problem I can see with this fragrant choice is that bridesmaids would be elbowing each other, taking the perfume's name and designer name down for their own future nuptials.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Tom Ford Santal Blush: fragrance review

Sandalwood comes with all the trappings of voluptuous legends told off the cargo ships coming from the Indian peninsula. The myth of the imperishable sandalwood (so sacred even termites abstain from it) informs many an old tale in the East, where sandalwood is the oriental wood scent par excellence.


Among the many scents inspired by this mystical material Tom Ford's Santal Blush is a gorgeous, clean, dry and creamy sandalwood fragrance with an immediate message of sensuousness and no boozy aftertaste. Both beautiful and wearable, it was composed by talented perfumer Yann Vasnier.

The bet wasn't an easy one: Composing a sandalwood fragrance evocative of the Indian splendors of the Mysore variety, revered for centuries, but without actually using the raw material due to its regional restrictions on use as an endangered species, was a Herculean feat. The result however more than compensates, entering into sandalwood fragrances' Hall of Fame, a genre always popular with perfume lovers. If you like Tam Dao, but prefer a luxe rather than bohemian presentation, this is a refined take on that scented cult memory.

Dependent on skin Ph acidity, the opening spices (I pick fenugreek and cumin especially) might be acrid or nicely piquant and maple-y on the skin. You probably need a small skin test before you get out that credit card.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Twin Peaks: Hermessence and Marc Jacobs

Hermessence Poivre Samarcande isn't discontinued like some of the other scents featured in the Twin Peaks articles; it enjoys pride of place in the Hermes canon and good commercial success in Southern European countries, from what I'm told. But the price asked is rather steep.


In the search for something similar I came upon Bang by Marc Jacobs, surely a less deep search into the pit of one's pockets, but just as good a fresh peppery goodness. Tip for the frugal: stockpile another bottle while the running is good.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Twin Peaks: Allesandro dell'Acqua and Korres

If you're a true musk lover such as myself then surely you recall Allesandro dell' Acqua by designer Allesandro dell'Acqua, a soapy but oddly sensual musk fragrance, which came and went without much noise and made us bang our head on the wall for not stockpiling.


Thankfully Korres has the filled the gap with Iris Lily of the Valley Cotton (admittedly a name too programmatic for its own good) which can be had for a mediocre sum of money and no great jumping through Ebay hoops to score a bottle. It smells of high count Egyptian cotton sheets somewhere posh with good company.

This is what I call a worthy discovery.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Dame Perfumery Dark Horse: short fragrance review

Dark Horse strikes me as the sort of thing you grab on the way to a very promising rendez-vous of an erotic nature. Ladies, beware of men using this intoxicating blend of citrus, burnished woods and cinnamon-cloves spice; they can turn very addictive, very, very soon!

pic via pinterest.com

On the other hand, you don't have to be a Dame (in the British sense of the word; I'm punning on the name of the founder of the house, in case it got confusing) to appreciate its insinuating message. But i's no deterrent either. Dark Horse is quite classy in its sexiness for either sex, and delicious in its implications. It doesn't quite show it, but it's a player. Hence, Dark Horse, I guess.

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